New investor offers bid to take over 100 percent of Asa

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Tinashe Makichi —
Asa Resource Group Plc has received a separate conditional offer from a publicly listed company to acquire the company’s 100 percent shareholding in ASA Headco Ltd, which owns all of the company’s material assets.

The joint administrators for the company believe that shareholders will get significantly more from the new offer than the 2,1 pence per share offered by Rich Pro Investments Ltd. Rich Pro, an investment company owned by China’s Zhejiang Hailiang Co Ltd, made a cash offer to take over the company, but with a new bid now on the table and the fact that the administrators are considering it, may have put Rich Pro’s plans in jeopardy.

“ASA Resource Group Plc, has received a separate conditional offer from a publicly listed company to acquire the company’s 100 percent shareholding in ASA Headco Ltd, which owns all of the company’s material assets,” said Asa Resource Plc.

Information gathered by this publication revealed that the investor is being supported by the likes of Barry Dearing and other British investors in the company who want to move control of the company see the company under Chinese control again.

“British shareholders have not been happy with the way the Chinese run companies. Therefore they decided to find a company publicly listed to make a counter offer, which has put the Rich Pro cash offer in jeopardy,” said sources familiar with the development.

ASA also said that its former director Ning Yat Hoi and his associated company China International Mining Group Corp have challenged the validity of the joint administrators’ appointment. A court hearing relating to an ongoing litigation between Rich Pro Investments and joint administrators is due to take place in the week commencing November 27, 2017.

The court hearing will also include matters relating to the validity of the joint administrators’ appointment, ASA said. Shares in ASA were suspended after the African mineral explorer in August 2017 appointed administrators to investigate ASA’s prior business and banking activities and the relationship between ASA and other companies. The appointment came after ASA said it was struggling to meet its ongoing liabilities and it was concerned about cash flow after it received the takeover bid from Chinese industrialist Feng Hailiang’s Rich Pro.

In October, Rich Pro extended the deadline for its takeover offer for ASA and said it had valid acceptances in respect of 805 million ASA shares, or roughly 48 percent of ASA. Rich Pro itself holds a 4,2 percent stake, giving it command over a total of 51,73 percent of ASA.

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